I'm going to assume most of you reading this article are playing for a Fantasy championship in Week 16, are a serious Dynasty player or are somehow related to me. Maybe all three! Regardless, this is the time of year where we start to shift a little bit from whether we believe it rest of season to what events mean for the long term. And with some players, there's a little bit of both.
Let's jump right in.
David Johnson is someone you can count on in Week 16 and beyond.
I sure hope you didn't run into this guy in the Fantasy semifinals. Johnson caught 11 passes for 106 yards and scored a season-high 24.3 PPR Fantasy points. With Will Fuller, Randall Cobb, and Duke Johnson all out, Deshaun Watson threw more to Johnson than he ever had to any running back. The fact that Johnson caught all of his targets and averaged nearly 10 yards per catch should only encourage Watson to look his way again.
Johnson has always been a wildly efficient receiver, but he just wasn't seeing the volume this year. In Week 16 he'll face the Cincinnati Bengals, and he'll be a borderline No. 1 running back if Duke Johnson remains out. Furthermore, with this element of his game unlocked, Johnson looks like a solid 2021 starter as well.
Verdict: Don't believe it.
OK, you're probably starting Johnson in Week 16, though that's more about the matchup than me believing one week's worth of target data. But there's no way I want to go into 2021 with Johnson as one of my starters at running back. Especially if he finishes the season strong, Johnson will be one of my main sell targets for this offseason and I'd take just about anything for him.
The fact is that waiting until a running back turns 29 years old is a great way to get nothing at all for him. You should be looking to sell backs two years younger than Johnson this offseason (Derrick Henry, Chris Carson, Kenyan Drake). Hopefully Johnson delivers you a Fantasy championship in Week 16 and then you can find someone to give you something, anything, for him before 2021.
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David Montgomery is a top 12 Dynasty running back.
What a finish from this guy. In his past four games he has 571 yards from scrimmage and six touchdowns. He's carrying teams to championships and he's on track to finish the year as a top six running back as a 23-year-old. It's hard to imagine this situation could get much worse, yet Montgomery is thriving. This offseason could bring changes, but they're more likely to benefit Montgomery than not. Buy him as a top 12 running back with a bright future in Dynasty.
Verdict: Don't believe it.
This is nothing against Montgomery, I've been as big a proponent as anyone. I'll have a final Dynasty running backs ranking next week and Montgomery will rise, but not quite to the top 12. Blame this rookie class for that. Montgomery is approximately two years older than Jonathan Taylor, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, J.K. Dobbins and D'Andre Swift. If you start with the assumption that he also has to remain behind Christian McCaffrey, Dalvin Cook, Alvin Kamara and Saquon Barkley then you can see how cracking the top 12 is a tall task.
Where it gets really interesting is comparing Montgomery to the members of his draft class. He's outdone Miles Sanders and Josh Jacobs so far this year, but Twitter still ranks Montgomery third. I can't disagree. One potential pitfall for Montgomery is that Tarik Cohen should be back next year and that could once again cut into his target volume.
The problems with the Dallas offense haven't been all Elliott's fault, but on Sunday it looked like he was at least partly to blame. Pollard produced 132 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns against an above average 49ers defense. If you have both Elliott and Pollard on your Fantasy team, you're hoping Elliott misses one more week.
Verdict: Believe it.
To be clear, if Elliott plays I don't want to start either Cowboys back. But I strongly prefer Pollard without Elliott to Elliott with Pollard. Part of that is a volume thing, but also Pollard has simply been better this year. He looks a step quicker and he's got just a little more juice. Besides, if Elliott does come back you have to imagine Pollard is going to see a larger share of the work than he did before Week 15.
Jalen Hurts is a top 12 Dynasty quarterback.
Just a couple of weeks ago, I wrote that Hurts could join Justin Herbert, Joe Burrow and Tua Tagovailoa in the top 12 Dynasty quarterback rankings. But even I didn't expect this. In two starts Hurts has thrown for 505 yards and run for 169. He also produced five total touchdowns. In those two weeks only Lamar Jackson has scored more Fantasy points.
Verdict: Believe it.
It's not even so much that I believe Hurts will keep this up. At quarterback, it's all about upside, and Hurts has shown us that he could join the elite tier as soon as next year. Imagine if he had a true No. 1 wide receiver or an offensive line.
There are seven quarterbacks I feel confident in as No. 1s for the next several years. You could throw Aaron Rodgers in if you aren't scared of his age. That leaves four spots in the top 12 for elite upside and all four of the rookies in this class have it. So does Trevor Lawrence, who we'll get added to the top-12 after the NFL Draft.